How Your Money Mindset May Be Holding You Back In 2018


I’ve decided that “Be brave with money” is one of my major goals for 2018.

This goal was inspired by the realization that while I’ve consistently spent less money than I’ve made, I’ve never felt like I had a handle on long-term saving, investing, or budgeting. Frankly, I’ve felt scared of money.

As I reflected about my frustrations and challenges with managing my finances, I was reminded of Denise Duffield-Thomas’ work. She’s a money mindset mentor whose goal is to normalize wealth for women. I had the pleasure of seeing Duffield-Thomas speak in Dallas last fall, and much of what she said resonated deeply with me.

According to Duffield-Thomas, one of the challenges women face when it comes to attaining wealth is that we haven’t seen it modeled.

My mother has been a school teacher for over 40 years. While she has done very well for herself, it’s safe to say that she didn’t become a teacher for the money. She’s motivated by her love of teaching and her commitment to educate the next generation rather than raking it in on her teacher’s salary. Her mother, in turn, wanted to work, but my grandfather discouraged it, so my grandmother volunteered as a docent for the local art museum.

Becoming more aware of this context helped me understand my relationship with money and the guilt I feel about wanting more of it. If two of the women I respect most haven’t focused on making money, what does it say about me and my commitment to the causes I care about if making money is a priority?

My mother is vehemently supportive of my business and a constant source of encouragement in pursuing professional and financial success. Still, I find myself feeling guilty or embarrassed for my desire to make money, which, as you might imagine, isn’t exactly conducive to entrepreneurship.

Duffield-Thomas encourages us to be role models for the next generation. She says, “Our job is to normalize wealth for women – to make it ok for other women, too.” That framework allows me to push beyond the message that it’s selfish to care about money and that I should be doing my work for purely altruistic reasons.

Instead, I want to be brave about money. I want to model a healthy money mindset for my niece and all the little girls who look up to me – to let them know that it’s not just ok to make money, but to show that wealth allows us to have a greater impact on the world around us. Thinking about money in that context, I’m starting to become excited about it.

As Duffield-Thomas says, “Women with big hearts who want to help people and make money will save the world.” Personally, more money would allow me to stress less about month-to-month finances and focus on passionately pursuing both the volunteer and paid work that meaningfully affect change.

It would allow me to invest more resources as a philanthropist on the issues that matter most to me. Just look at what’s happened with the creation of TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund. It’s a 15.5 million dollar fund (and counting) started by women in entertainment to subsidize legal support for lower-income people who have experienced sexual misconduct in the workplace. That fund couldn’t have happened if the women who started it hadn’t amassed wealth in their own careers.

While it’s less comfortable, my desire to make money doesn’t have to be altruistic. Getting comfortable with increasing my income would also allow me to travel, buy myself silly treasures, and spend time with people I love. Part of a healthy money mindset means I don’t need to feel guilty for that.

I do still feel guilty on occasion, but I’m working on it. In 2018, I’ll begin my newfound lifelong goal to be brave with money. I will:

  • Set and work toward a specific financial goal for the year.
  • Track money more closely.
  • Open a new investment account and increase savings.
  • Have difficult conversations about money.
  • Maintain an abundance mindset without being frivolous.

One week into the new year, I’m genuinely excited about my goal. We’ll see how I feel this time next year, but I’m cautiously optimistic the bravery will continue.

Lelia Gowland helps women negotiate and navigate their careers. She’s a sought after speaker and writer on workplace dynamics for women. Learn more at




Get Your Mind Right: The Budgetnista Talks Tips For Increasing Your Net Worth


Ready to increase your net worth this year? Believe it or not, improving your finances and building wealth is more about mastering your mindset than anything else. To help you get your mind right, we tapped Tiffany “The Budgetnista” Aliche, the award-winning founder of the Live Richer Challenge and leader of Dream Catchers, a massive group of people who are collectively working toward a better financial life together. In 2014, she initially launched the Live Richer Challenge with a focus on savings. Since then, the challenge has progressed from savings to credit and currently, the 2018 edition focuses on net worth. Below she details a few money mindset tips to boost your income as well as your wealth.


What are three mindset shifts people need to make when it comes to increasing their savings, improving their credit, and increasing their net worth?

  • The mindset shift for saving – Many people think of savings as missing out. But to save effectively, you have to switch that mindset from saving is depriving yourself to saving is a reward. Meaning, if you save, you can have more of the things you want.


  • The mindset for credit – You have to shift to one of empowerment. People think credit is something that you don’t have control over or once you make a mistake, that’s it, and that is not true. Credit is simply a series of rules; and if you know the rules, you can abide by them, and you can even tweak them to your benefit. Credit is actually one of the easiest things to fix. Make the shift to learning the rules so you can play a different game. Shift your mindset to empowerment and knowledge when it comes to credit.


  • The mindset for net worth – Shift away from this idea that more is more. True wealth is not just about income because your net worth is how much you own minus how much owe. So let’s just say you own a million dollars’ worth of things (woohoo you’re rich!): NO. If you owe $2 million, you have a net worth of $1 million minus $2 million, which is negative $1 million.


Make a shift that more is not more and that your net worth is truly about balance. Yes, we all want to earn more, but we also have to take care of what you have because it is earn versus owing.




How To Change Your Mindset For a Richer New Year


Every time a new year rolls round, many of us resolve to be better with money.

To save more, to keep out of our overdrafts, to budget better or simply to make our fortunes.

But the trouble is, most of us actually have no clue how to go about that.

According to hypnotist, behavioural scientist and author of self-help books, Paul McKenna, however, there are simple things you can do to ensure you have a richer 2018.

It’s important to remember that being rich isn’t just about money: “Being rich is living your life on your own terms – according to your possibilities, not your limitations,” McKenna wrote for the Mail Online.

From his experience, “rich thinkers” are the people who have a certain view of money that’s different to most of us.

A study recently found that it’s all about having a “proactive personality,” which is where you can spot opportunities and work on them in the right way.

These people tend to get promoted more often and are also happier at work.

“In other words, we create our own luck by the way we think, feel and act in the world,” McKenna explains.

One way to try and achieve this mindset is to attach meaning to the physical money you have, so equate a £5 note with lunch, for example.

For many people, what’s holding them back is financial self-sabotage. They think they don’t deserve wealth or there isn’t enough money to go round.

And – as with most things – it often comes down to our parents.

If you were brought up being told you’d never be successful or amount to anything, this can affect your views on money and success as an adult.

You have to try and get rid of any negative subconscious thoughts you have about wealth that you’ve been holding since childhood.

Another issue for some people is not liking the idea of having less money than others. But, McKenna says, “The more comfortable you become with the wealth of others, the faster your own wealth will grow.”

Your mindset affects the energy you give off which controls the energy you receive, according to McKenna.

If you’d just like to spend less, McKenna suggests simply starting a spending diary, where you note down every penny that leaves your bank account or wallet – much like with a food diary, it can help make you much more aware of where your money is going.

Another tip is to ask yourself “wealth creating questions,” such as “What unique product or service would I like to provide which will be of massive value to the world?” This is a trait many millionaires and billionaires share.

You need to ask what you can offer which would add value to other people’s lives while also making you money.

Even if you can’t answer questions such as these straight away, it’s important to keep asking yourself because it will put your mind in a more resourceful state.

“You get more of what you focus on in life,” says McKenna

Here’s my question for you today: What’s your main financial focus for this year?

Leave a comment below, and I’ll be sure to get back to you.

To your success,



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Create a positive financial mindset for 2018


The year is not yet over, but many of us are looking forward to January 2018. Starting a new year is always exciting, offering opportunities for making healthy changes. But often, our best intentions have faded within a few weeks, and we fall back into our old routines.

Let’s focus on our mindset to improve our finances in the new year. Maybe your mindset is that you cannot improve your finances because you’ve never been good with money.

We have all fallen short on goals for many reasons. Maybe the goals were unrealistic or we didn’t prepare properly. Sometimes life gets in the way. Brian Grasso, author of the book “Mindset Matters Most,” says, “Changing your mindset is about consistency plus simplicity.”

Today we will look at four ways of changing your mindset involving your finances.

Start a retirement fund

If you struggle to get to the end of the month, and there is never any money left over to save, cut yourself some slack. Chances are, you never had role models (parents or grandparents) when you were a child who taught you how to save. So, you need to learn now.

Ask whether your employer has a retirement plan, such as a 401(k) or a 403(b). If it does, fill out the necessary paperwork and start contributing to it – at least as much as your employer will match. Many employers will annually contribute 3 percent times the amount of your salary if you contribute 6 percent of your salary. Never pass up the match that an employer will contribute.

If your employer offers a Roth 401(k) or a Roth 403(b), choose that option, rather than the traditional retirement plan. You will not receive a tax break in the years you contribute, but the account will be tax-free for future years, including when you decide to withdraw the money.

Retirement plans such as 401(k)s, 403(b)s, Roth 401(k)s and Roth 403(b)s do not have income limitations, but they have contribution maximums. For 2018, a person can contribute up to $18,500 if under age 50 and up to $24,500 if age 50 or over.

Create an emergency fund

Do you have an emergency fund that would cover six months of living expenses in case of an emergency? If you do not, start building your emergency fund.

Open a savings account at a bank or credit union, and make sure you are not paying any fees. If you already have a checking account, open the savings account at the same firm.

Ask the bank or credit union to start transferring money automatically into the new savings account on the day you choose (immediately after you receive your paycheck is usually the wisest choice). Select an amount that is realistic for you. It does not have to be large.

Open a Roth IRA

If you fund your retirement plan at work and you have an emergency fund, congratulations! Next, I recommend you open a Roth IRA. You must have earned income (such as a salary) to fund a Roth IRA. For 2018, you can contribute up to $5,500 if you are under age 50 and up to $6,500 if you are 50 or over. There are income limitations (based on modified adjusted gross income) for funding Roth IRAs to the maximum amount, and for 2018 these are $120,000 if you are single and $189,000 for married couples. See the website for information.

Roth IRAs do not provide any tax benefit in the year of the contribution. However, going forward, the account is tax-free as it is growing and is also tax-free when withdrawals are taken. (Traditional IRAs offer a tax benefit in the year of the contribution but withdrawals are taxed as income in the year of the withdrawal. Therefore, Roth IRAs are considered tax-free while traditional IRAs are tax-deferred).

Someone can fund a Roth IRA in addition to a Roth 401(k) through their employer. Roth IRAs are a very attractive way to save for retirement, but they are also attractive for young people because the contributions can be withdrawn at any time (just not the earnings). Roth IRAs have many benefits. For information, read Wise Tax Strategies on my website, Click on the “Resources” tab, then on “Free Reports.”

Boost your investment knowledge

If you contribute to your employer’s retirement plan, have an emergency fund that will cover six months of expenses, and fund a Roth IRA each year, your next step should be to increase your knowledge about investments. Perhaps you have investment accounts, but you do not understand why you own certain investments or how they perform. Early 2018 is your chance to meet with your broker or financial adviser and ask lots of questions.

Raise your level of knowledge regarding your investments. The stock market has been extremely kind to investors in recent years, but I am always concerned that many investors are not prepared for the inevitable downturn. Make certain your investments do not have too much risk for your situation, and ask for a listing of the fees you are paying. Learn how to analyze your investments. Your broker or financial adviser should serve as a partner to you.

We have all set unrealistic goals before, and we are frustrated when we do not follow through. Mindset is important. Be kind to yourself if you slip back into the old habits, and begin again.

The researchers who study how change occurs emphasize that the process is not linear. We may move from one step to the next and then take several steps back before getting on track again. If we see setbacks as a part of the process, we’ll be more likely to accept them and return to the positive changes we are making.

Best wishes for a happy, healthy and prosperous new year!

To your success,





4 Quotes From the World’s Best Investors to Help You Achieve Financial Independence


With the proper mindset and a willingness to listen to the advice of those who have already made their fortunes, most of us can greatly improve our chances of becoming financially secure. Let’s look at some examples of the latter.

“Financial peace isn’t the acquisition of stuff. It’s learning to live on less than you make, so you can give money back and have money to invest. You can’t win until you do this” – Dave Ramsey

US businessman and author, Dave Ramsey has an estimated net worth of $55m. Most readers in the UK won’t have heard of him. Nevertheless, the quote above neatly encapsulates the need to avoid spending unnecessarily if you’re to become financially free.

Taking on board Ramsey’s advice doesn’t mean consigning yourself to an ascetic lifestyle or refraining from having any fun whatsoever. It does, however, involve undertaking a sober evaluation of what you can and can’t live without (iPhone X and all). And if your outgoings are larger than your income, you’re doing it wrong. Turn this around and put any remaining cash to better use in the stock market.

“Investing should be more like watching paint dry or watching grass grow. If you want excitement, take $800 and go to Las Vegas” – Paul Samuelson

It’s tempting to believe that all those who have become financially independent did so by betting big on a single company or asset. Certainly, there will be a few people who have managed to do this, most recently with Bitcoin. What you don’t hear about, however, are the many investors who have taken extraordinarily high risks over the years and lost everything. It’s called survivorship bias — don’t be a victim to it.

Rather than gamble with your hard-earned capital, you’re far better off investing in a basket of quality stocks, reinvesting any dividends and watching your wealth grow. Financial independence is perfectly possible but very rarely does it happen instantly.

“You get recessions, you have stock market declines. If you don’t understand that’s going to happen, then you’re not ready, you won’t do well in the markets” – Peter Lynch

Lynch believes that trying to predict what the market will do over the next year or so is a fruitless endeavour; far better to accept that markets will regularly correct, occasionally crash and eventually recover.

The pursuit of financial independence involves accepting that there will be setbacks along the way and that trying to put a date on when you will be completely secure is probably unrealistic. What’s more important is responding appropriately to market wobbles when they occur.

Which brings us to our final quote…

“We don’t have to be smarter than the rest. We have to be more disciplined than the rest” – Warren Buffett

Being successful in the markets isn’t correlated with intelligence and most of the wealthiest investors don’t possess PhDs. What often separates these people from everyone else is their commitment to what they are doing.

Buffett is, of course, the 87-year-old poster boy of value investing. Perhaps more than any other, this strategy requires patience, conviction and a willingness to zig while others zag. The only way of doing this consistently is to have discipline and buy the stocks everyone else is jettisoning from their portfolios. Being wholeheartedly greedy when others are fearful can be truly life-changing.

What is your favourite financial quote? Leave a comment below and let us know why you like it.


To your success,






Why an Emergency Fund Should Be a Top Priority

f you’re like most people, you have lots of demands on your money. You may have student loans to pay, a down payment to save for, and high interest debt you’re trying to pay off.  Prioritizing all of your different financial goals can be difficult, but one of the very first goals to achieve is saving at least some money for an emergency fund.

Around 60% of Americans have less than $500 available for an emergency, despite the fact emergencies happen all the time. Nearly as many Americans — 45% — had incurred a major unexpected expense over the prior year, according to a Bankrate survey.

While your ultimate goal should be to have at least three to six months of living expenses in an emergency fund, you don’t have to start with an aspiration that’s this hard to achieve if you’re in debt or have other money troubles. You should, however, make it a point to save at least $1,000 as one of your first financial accomplishments — even prioritizing emergency savings over aggressive debt repayment.

Why fund an emergency fund as a top priority

If you’re in debt, it’s tempting to want to allocate all of your extra cash to paying it off as fast as possible. Setting aside money for an emergency fund can seem like a foolish waste if you’re paying high interest costs on money you owe. However, despite the fact it may seem like bad math, you should begin saving cash for an emergency even while you are still in the red and have credit cards or other debts to pay.

One of the biggest reasons to save for an emergency is that emergencies will happen. It’s inevitable that cars or household appliances will break down, children will get sick, or other unavoidable expenses will crop up. If you don’t have an emergency fund when these expenditures arise, you’ll have no choice but to go further into debt to handle the unexpected expense. This continues the cycle of debt that you’re in and can be demoralizing if you’re trying to repay what you owe. Seeing your progress on debt repayments eroded by having to make new charges on your credit cards can kill your momentum and make it that much harder to be aggressive about early debt payoff.

Saving for an emergency also ensures you will actually have cash available when you really need it. If you’re in debt already, you may be unable to access affordable forms of credit if an emergency arises. When your emergency requires quick cash you don’t have, you could be left with no choice but to take a credit card cash advance, a title loan or a payday loan. Any of these options come with very high interest rates and should be avoided at all costs. If you’ve saved money for an emergency fund before getting aggressive about repaying debt, you’ll have the money available to you without having to take on very costly debt that will be much harder to repay later.

Finally, starting your emergency fund is a good way to get into the habit of saving and to change your money mindset. You can use your efforts to save for your emergency fund to start the practice of paying yourself first. Make saving for emergencies a line item on your budget and have the money taken out of your paychecks before you ever see the cash. You’ll get used to living on a little less — and once your emergency fund has been funded, you can reallocate this money to other financial goals, like debt repayment or saving for things like that dream home you’ve been hoping to buy. The power of building an emergency fund can give you more of a feel of control over your entire financial life, which can keep you motivated for making smart money moves going forward.

If you haven’t yet got an emergency fund today, how would you start? What percentage can you be comfortable with to set aside to build up your emergency fund?

If you have n emergency fund, what percentage works for you, and how did you set it up?

Leave your comments in the field below, so others can get encouraged and inspired.

To your success,



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Isaac Newton’s Guide To Financial Success


I remember my father quoting the law of physics regarding things in motion staying in motion and things at rest staying at rest. Still today, my eyes involuntarily roll at the memory. These reminders of Newton’s law usually came when I was ignoring my list of chores in favor of leisurely pursuits. In other words, I was goofing off.

Applying Newton’s law to our financial lives is not a wide leap, nor a departure from what we know about financial success. It’s about movement, action, and momentum. Financial success depends on a mindset of success paired with appropriate action.

Consider the components of achieving your financial success:

    1. Your Values
    2. Your most important goals (your “musts”)
    3. Your current financial situation
    4. Your ability to navigate successfully from now through the attainment of your goals
    5. Your ability to successfully handle transitions and unexpected distresses and problems
Your willingness to make changes where appropriate and necessary

Living your life with your values and goals in place is an active endeavor—a path in motion. There is nothing autopilot or “sitting back with your feet up” about it. It requires vigilance, desire, and involvement to ensure you don’t wind up in a financial ditch. No goofing off here.

I am not referring to day trading stocks or attempting to time the market. Those activities are both generally a waste of time and destructive to your goals. I am referring to aligning your financial needs with appropriate actions.

Here are some actions you should be taking:

  1. Make sure you are saving actively for your goals. Think 401(k), automatic monthly investment plans.
  2. Have your insurance policies reviewed annually for sufficiency. In other words, is your coverage appropriate for your needs?
  3. Meet with your CPA before the end of the tax year to incorporate tax law changes or complete any appropriate tax strategies.
  4. Have your estate planning documents reviewed periodically to ensure they are accurate, reflect current law, your wishes, and needs.
  5. Review your cash flow at least annually to make sure your spending is within an expected and appropriate range.
  6. Have your financial plan updated annually or every 2 years to make sure you are on target with your goals.
  7. Talk with all stakeholders to see if their goals and objectives have shifted thereby requiring a change in plans and actions.
  8. Review your portfolio allocation in respect to your time horizon. As you get closer to your goal, taking risk off the table might be appropriate.
  9. Review the amount of debt you carry and prudently work towards appropriate retirement.
  10. Explore options for big ticket items such as, providing college cost or long-term care expenses.

Imagine ignoring these items and leaving them to fate—it’s likely you will not meet your goals or live according to your highest values. Think of a vegetable garden that you plant in the spring and ignore until autumn; there’s a better than even chance that weeds, pests or lack of water or fertilizer will leave your crop less than your expectations. In other words, appropriate action is required and prudent.

Isaac Newton’s Laws are ever present in our lives, whether or not we actively think about it. Our intention, matched with appropriate action puts us in a position to improve our live satisfaction and build a path towards financial success.

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6 Money Mindset Hacks Six-Figure Entrepreneurs Use To Generate Consistent Income Part 2


In the first installment, we discussed the foundational mindset hacks needed to set your plan in motion towards consistent income.  This includes setting the intention, identifying your money blocks and forgiving your financial past.

Now we’ll cover the last 3 steps needed to generate consistent income in your business.

Let’s take a look at what’s needed to set all of this in motion towards your goals.


This money mindset hack isn’t always obvious to everyone because the connection isn’t always understood.  If you remember the “mirror effect” example above then you understand that clutter in your external world is often indicative of the clutter present in your internal world.

Clutter often creates feelings of disorganization and chaos which is often born out of a similar mindset.

How successful can you really become in your business if your chronically disorganized and fighting chaos?

You won’t get very far since clutter promotes procrastination and limits your potential because of the stagnant disorganized feelings related to that mental and physical space.

Even if we become moderately successfully, mounting clutter in our physical space it will always feel like a struggle.  And as we discussed above, your feelings around your business are important to your success.

Taking massive action

This is important.  Yet you’d still be surprised how many of us create the best business and financial plans and fail to take massive action.  Massive action creates momentum.

It’s one thing to set up a savings account but quite another to set in motion the plans to and follow through with the transfer and watch it grow.  Think of massive action as the gasoline you need to take you from A to B.

You can’t get anywhere in your car if your foot isn’t on the gas pedal.  Of course, you need a map to your destination but you’ll be sitting in your driveway as long as your feet are planted on the floor of the car vs the gas pedal.

Detach from the outcome

After everything we’ve discussed around taking action, it’s time to step away from your attachment to the outcome.  This seems simple enough but perhaps the most difficult for most entrepreneurs to put into practice because it means carrying on with your life as if it’s already happened.

The more you apply forceful energy to create an outcome, the less likely it will happen.  Your job is simply to carry on as if it has already happened.  When you place your order at a restaurant, I’m pretty sure you don’t obsess whether the kitchen received your order.  You simply know it’s coming.

The same applies for your mundane plans to go to the grocery store later or turn on the lights in your basement.  You just know that when you take action, the desired outcome will manifest.  The same applies for your business.

Implement the hacks detailed above and in the first installment of this series, but in the end your job is simply to live in the detached space that it has already happened.  In that space you aren’t creating the possibilities for all the reasons for why it won’t happen.  That just creates more negative energy which fuels your brain’s search for validation as to why it won’t work.

Striking an ideal balance between a strong business acumen and mindset can seem difficult since we’ve mostly been taught to “work hard” towards our goals with the expectation of our desired results.

However, once you understand that both are required for success then you’ll eventually work to incorporate both a consistent mindset practice as well as taking massive action towards your goals.




5 Financial Mindsets You Need To Get Rid of ASAP


Bad habits die hard and if we speak from the financial point of view, a poor financial mindset leads to impulsive spending or improper planning that lead to draining away your wealth, on the other hand good financial habits help in accumulating a large corpus over time.

Let us take you through Five Poor Financial Mindsets that most of us possess however must rectify ASAP:

1. Procrastinating Investments

The sooner you start saving and investing, the larger cache you will collect over time owing to compound interest factor. We all know this very well but fail when it comes to implementation. People who haven’t developed the habit of savings, keep on postponing the savings for the purpose of investment on the pretext of various expenses that pop out of the blues and investment plans are procrastinated to next month, next appraisal, next bonus and so on.

2. No Savings Agenda

In case you’re one of those who spend all their hard earned salaries/incomes without keeping some part aside every month for not just the rainy days but for savings too, or you are the one over spending via credit cards – which is even worse, then you’re in for a lot of trouble. You need to improve on the latter habit otherwise you will keep paying off your credit card debts and will be unable to save for the later years. For the ones that fall in the former bracket, read point number 4.

3. Withdrawals from Savings Account

Don’t worry you are not the only one who withdraws money from the savings account whenever a need arises, in fact that is a primary purpose of saving. However, if you withdraw too often then you must restrain yourself and either invest the money or transfer it to an account that has a high interest rate, so as to create two accounts one to create a heap that you can utilize in your later years and another for the present day emergencies. You can further also invest the amount in SIP Mutual funds after a certain period of time.

4. Investing the Left-Overs

Often people who are keen on saving follow a vague method. They cover their expenses first and then they save or invest whatever is left of their monthly income. However, this is the wrong way to go about your savings. You must already have a list of your regular expenses and a certain fixed percentage in your mind that you must save or invest every month. It is better to start putting aside atleast 20% of your earning and then clinching your expenses from the rest 80%.

5. Retirement is Far-Away

When you start working and are in your early 20s, retirement may seem ages away but time indeed flies. The golden years to save and invest are your Twenties, these savings ensure that you have complete peace of mind and abundance in your silver years. It’s better to think of how you wish to retire when you get your first pay check. Talk to your parents or a financial advisor on how to save and further invest. It will give you perspective and you’ll be able to save from Day 1 of your financial earning.

Here’s today’s question for you: what kind of mindset do you have when it comes to money?

Leave your comment below, and I’ll be sure to get back at you.

To your succes,




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The Biggest Secret to Long-Lasting Financial Happiness


When we think about personal finance, we often first think about the numbers. Sizing up our income, expenses, and investment returns gives us a clear picture of where we stand, right?

I would argue, not so much.

When I work with clients, we look to the numbers to provide benchmarks on spending, saving, and investment habits. The numbers are definitely helpful, but they actually serve a higher purpose as well: they give us insight into our money mindset. Our mindset sets the tone for our relationship with money, and through my work, I’ve noticed that in my clients’ money journeys, there’s a moment when that mindset is transformed, and everything becomes easy. They start taking actions that bring them closer to their goals rather than further away from them. They experience more happiness and less stress. Their money decisions no longer feel agonizing — they feel simple and reflexive.

I’ve found that, over time, this mindset shift becomes more and more ingrained in our way of thinking. We continue to improve on and grow our positive money habits, and they become more natural and automatic as time goes on. When I check in with clients months and even years later, they report back that they are progressing easily and swiftly towards their money goals. Of course, we all experience hiccups and hit roadblocks — that’s part of every journey but generally speaking, the trajectory towards wealth and financial well-being trends up.

As I’ve watched this mindset shift happen over and over again, I’ve gotten more and more curious about what exactly causes this change in perspective. I thought to myself, if I can understand that, I can help facilitate this transformation even more quickly and effectively.

I started to consider and analyze what characteristic actually causes this remarkable shift. I knew that it had to do with a mindset of scarcity versus a mindset of abundance, and I could easily tell which state of mind a client was in (just as I could easily tell what state of mind I was in), but I never knew exactly when the mindset transformation would happen or what would trigger it to occur.

Now, after years of conversations and coaching sessions, I’ve discovered the mantras that make all the difference. Ready?

It’s never enough versus it’s already more than enough.

When we are in a place of “it’s never enough,” we will be trapped in a mindset of scarcity, and will find it challenging to achieve our long-term money goals. On the other hand, when we are in a place of “it’s already more than enough” we experience an incredible shift in mindset. Moving between one mantra to the other sparks a huge mindset breakthrough.

Think about it. When we’re in a scarcity mindset, we’re constantly chasing more. We might think that if we doubled our salaries, it would be more than enough, but studies show that’s not the case. We will just want to double our salaries again and the cycle continues.

There are people who are incredibly wealthy who feel that they are poor and money is scarce. The scarcity mindset even afflicts people who stumble onto sudden wealth. Think of the 70 percent of lottery winners (according to one study in Florida) who spent every cent of their prize within five years of winning. Even after winning millions or hundreds of millions of dollars, it still wasn’t enough. I can go on and on with examples but as you can imagine, we can’t earn our way out of this. If we try, it will never be enough. Luckily, there’s another way of thinking that’s a lot less stressful and a lot more powerful.

It’s already more than enough. Let that thought sink in for a moment. Really try to believe it. You already have more than enough. When we allow this shift in our thinking, we immediately go to a place of gratitude for all that we have. Of course, we may want things that we don’t have, but in this abundant mindset, those things aren’t the focus. The irony is, when we are coming from a place of abundance, we attract more of it. As our mindset transforms, we develop a more positive relationship with money, which in turn brings — you guessed it — more wealth. A mindset of abundance really works in our favor.

When my clients are loving life, reaching their goals, feeling grateful for the meaning they get from their spending, and experiencing a general sense of ease around their money lives, it’s because they’ve discovered the biggest secret to long-lasting financial happiness: they believe they already have more than enough. This mindset is how we make the incredible shift towards a positive relationship with our money. We may all return to a mindset of scarcity from time to time, and it’s natural to slip a little, especially as we get used to our new mantra. But when we catch ourselves and reframe our thinking, we spend more and more of our time in a place of gratitude, and that makes all the difference for our financial wellness and well-being.

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